12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
12 Almanacs.
A Yearbook of 12 English Almanacs for 1672.

12 Almanacs.

A Sammelband of 12 almanacs printed at London and Cambridge for the year of calculation 1672. English almanacs were first produced in 1557, when a royal charter to publish the booklets was granted to the Stationers' Company. The popular, inexpensive works, which were produced by the hundreds of thousands during the last two months of every year in London, Cambridge, Oxford, and in lesser numbers provincially (including the Colonies since at least 1647), were instrumental in molding the public's knowledge of and attitude toward popular astronomy and astrology in early modern England. The prime directive of the early English almanac was astronomical: it was a vade mecum to the stars and planets and how to interpret them as both stellar objects and as astrological heralds. As such, most almanacs contained significant information on eclipses, comets, astral positions, and phases of the moon, along with the worldwide sublunary effects of it all, from medical to climatic to sociopolitical. English almanacs were traditionally printed and sold in the months of October, November, and December preceding the salient year. It was customary for the Stationers' Company to bind up selections of unsold copies in the springtime, and sell them as reference works, known today as yearbooks, though our book has a custodial remark dated 1671—perhaps evidence that yearbooks were made and sold earlier than previously thought. Many almanacs featured a crude woodcut of homo sigorum, the so-called Zodiac Man, most often accompanied by an explanation in verse of the relationship between the sectors of the sky and the parts of the body. Almanacs also contained copious judicial astrological predictions, but in addition readers could expect to encounter nativities, market-day calendars, interest tables, timber charts, announcements of upcoming publications, mercantile advertisements (often gilt with withering slanders of competitors), lists of post roads, tips for successful husbandry, chronologies of world events, jokes, fun facts, weather forecasts, and auguries of worldwide political calamity. Since at least 1664 almanac parodies had begun to appear, the most famous of which was Poor Robin, a bawdy lampoon composed in a dense, double-entendre-laden argot attributed by Sidney Lee in DNB to William Winstanley. Poor Robin invariably appeared as the final volume in late 17th- and early 18th-century yearbooks; our volume is no different. It also contains William Lilly's Merlini Anglici Ephemeris, Vincent Wing's Olympia Domata, Edward Pond's Almanack, William Andrews's Ephemeris (a defective copy), Thomas Trigge's Calendarium Astrologicum, Richard Saunders's Apollo Anglicanus, James Bowker's Kalendarium, Charles Atkinson's Panterpe, Henry Coley's Hemerologium Astronomicum, John Tanner's Angelus Britannicus, John Gadbury's Ephemeris, with Poor Robin bringing up the rear. Yearbooks, especially of the 17th century, are growing scarce, most having been absorbed into institutional collections, or broken and sold piecemeal. Ours is a good copy of an early English yearbook with a scientific and medical focus, preserved in its original binding.

London and Cambridge: [Various], 1672.

Octavo, 152 x 105 x 48 mm (binding), 150 x 103 x 46 mm (text block). Contemporary sheepskin, full gilt back, titled in second compartment ALMANACKS | 1672, AEG. Extremities worn; spine leather split vertically near center, but text block structurally sound; headbands coming loose; rear free end wanting. Interior: Some staining and soiling to a few leaves in first and last books; a few deckles preserved. I. Merlini Anglici Ephemeris. A-F8, [96] pp., portrait frontis, charts, diagrams, homo sigorum, printed in red and black. II. Olympia Domata. A-C8, [48] pp., homo sigorum, "face of the heavens" woodcuts, printed in red and black. III. Pond's Almanack. A-C8, [48] pp., printed in red and black. IV. Ephemeris. A defective copy, wanting B1-8 and C1-5 (13 leaves); C6 and C7 damaged with loss. V. Calendarium Astrologicum. A-B8, C4, [42] pp., printed in red and black. VI. Apollo Anglicanus. A-B8, [2]A8, [48] pp., homo sigorum, printed in red and black.  VII. Kalendarium. A-C8, [48] pp., printed in red and black. VIII. Panterpe. A-C8, [48] pp., printed in red and black. IX. Hemerologium Astronomicum, A-C8, [48] pp., printed in red and black. X. Angelus Britannicus, A-C8, [48] pp., homo sigorum, printed in red and black. XI. Ephemeris, B8, [2]B-E8, portrait, homo sigorum. XII. Poor Robin. A-B8, [2]B8, printed red and black.

Provenance:

Custodial signature in ink to recto of front free end: Ri[chard] Grosvenor Barteloh F.S.A. Barteloh was a Dorset historian and vicar at Fordington in the early part of the 20th century. Bartelot's pressure stamp to same. Period custodial remark in ink below this, crossed out at an early date but legible under uV light: Gawen Davies | his booke | anno domini | 1671. Early illegible signature to lower pastedown. Scattered period pen trials. Period notations in undeciphered shorthand to a few pages in Panterpe.

I. ESTC R28239; II. ESTC R38468, III. ESTC R30690, IV. ESTC R27098, V. ESTC R34324, VI. ESTC R33192, VII. ESTC R36739, VIII. R31249, IX. R8241, X. R34307, XI. R35700, XII. R31861.

Item #235

Price: $6,200.00